Saturday, June 12, 2004

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

There are now at least three proposals being put forth to place Ronald Reagan's face on a piece of currency, particularly the $10 and $20 bills, and the dime. These currently bear the images of Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively.

I'm not keen on any of these suggestions, especially not the $10. Hamilton was a Founding Father. His lasting influence on this country was greater than Jackson and Reagan put together. I say leave him be. And while I know how quickly FDR was put on the dime, I don't favor repeating what I consider a hasty move.

Frankly, I'm not hot on the idea of putting Reagan on any money yet, especially not if it involves bumping off Founding Fathers. But if it's inevitable, my vote is for the $50 bill. Whatever anyone thinks of Reagan, he was still a better President than Grant. And by replacing one Republican with another Republican, it saves some partisan bickering.

The US Mint is also in the market for a new face to put on the dollar coin. They finally gave up on Sacagawea, and are looking for a political figure. This would certainly be the easiest place to put him, and could easily bring some attention and popularity to the struggling coin.

Or how about the 50-cent piece? Ben Franklin used to be the face thereon, but he was replaced by JFK the year after Kennedy was shot. And no one uses that coin nowadays. Rotate it to a new dead President, and maybe revitalize some interest in the coin.

Or let's bring back a retired bill: the $500 bill. Quick, whose face was on the $500? Chances are, you don't know. Even I had to look it up: William McKinley. How did this guy end up on a bill and not Teddy Roosevelt? His only claim to fame is that his death allowed a more renowned President to come to power.


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